real estate construction

Toronto is the first city in Ontario to require affordable housing in developments

Inclusionary zoning approved by city council will begin in 2022

Toronto city council has voted to adopt a new Inclusionary Zoning policy that will require developers to include affordable housing in their developments.

The city is the first in Ontario to implement such a policy. It will require new developments with over 100 units total and near major transit stations to make five to 10 per cent of rental and ownership units affordable beginning in 2022.

That percentage will grow gradually to eight to 22 per cent by 2030, according to the city, and developers will have to include affordable housing for at least 99 years.

The number of affordable units required will depend on where the development is in the city and whether it is rental or ownership. The highest requirements will be in the downtown area, followed by midtown then Scarborough Centre, according to the city.

Those who qualify should make between $32,486 to $91,611 of annual income, and the units would be priced at no more than 30 per cent of their monthly income.

For example, someone making $43,600 a year could get a one-bedroom apartment for $1,090 a month, or a two-bedroom for $1,661 a month if they make $66,440 a year.

​​“This comprehensive Inclusionary Zoning policy will get more affordable housing built in our city,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement. “It will ensure that our city remains vibrant and strong as it continues to grow.”

Tory added that the plan will help the city achieve its goal of creating 40,000 affordable rental units and 4,000 new affordable ownership homes by 2030.

According to the City, the policy will be reviewed after one year to “ensure market stability and production of affordable housing units.”

However, some advocates think the city is not doing enough with this plan.

Alejndra Ruiz Vargas, Chair East York of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), said in a statement that the city’s own studies have shown that it can feasibly require up to 30 per cent of units be affordable.

“Instead [the city] put forward a slow plan that won’t deliver what is needed,” she said. “We can’t wait till 2030, people need some hope right now.”

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO